Coleraine R plates motorist ‘ was getaway driver in £10,000 robbery’

Court
Court

An R plates motorist was the alleged getaway driver in a £10,000 armed cash-in-transit robbery, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors also revealed the stolen money and gun used during last week’s heist in Coleraine, Co Londonderry have yet to be recovered.

Details emerged as bail was refused to a 25-year-old accused of involvement in the raid.

Jason Kennedy, of Drumtarsey Road in Coleraine, faces charges of robbery and possession of a firearm with intent.

He was arrested by police investigating the hold-up at the Riverside Retail Park last Saturday.

Two masked men armed with a gun and crowbar confronted a security van driver after he had collected takings from a B&M store.

One of the robbers put the gun against the victim’s leg and demanded the cash box, the court heard.

According to prosecution counsel Kate McKay the pair escaped with the container and around £10,000 inside.

She said the pair headed for security fencing and then the Somerset Road.

Based on witness accounts, they are alleged to have gone to a waiting Honda Civic which took off in the direction of Castleroe.

Police inquiries revealed the car had been bought by Kennedy the previous day.

He was later detained at home and claimed during interviews that no-one else had driven the vehicle since his purchase, the court was told.

Kennedy replied “No” when both charges were formally put to him.

Opposing bail, Mrs McKay said: “Police believe this was a well-planned robbery.

“The applicant allegedly played an important role as the getaway driver.”

The barrister also confirmed both the gun used in the raid and money stolen remain outstanding.

Jon Paul Shields, defending, argued that apart from the car there is no evidence linking his client to the robbery.

He told the court Kennedy had admitted purchasing it the day before and transferring his insurance details over.

“He had put his R plates up as he is still subject to those restrictions,” Mr Shields added.

“It would seem inconsistent that he was involved in planning some sort of sophisticated operation and indeed use this vehicle which he had registered.”

But denying bail, Mr Justice Horner pointed out that no explanation was given for anyone else using the car when it was allegedly spotted by witnesses.

He added: “I do not consider I can impose conditions to manage the risk (of reoffending).”